We believe that the future TP will utilise enhanced tools to provide greater certainty, assurance and information to businesses in the application of tax laws, to each different business and their circumstances.
The future TP will be skilled to analyse and interpret the output of such tools to ensure appropriate application of the information to business.
We do believe that the ATO should be:
- rapidly enhancing its technical ability.
- providing more digitally-enabled interactions between taxpayers, their tax intermediaries and the ATO.
- predominantly providing these digital solutions to the commercial solutions providers (DSPs) for inclusion in the products they already provide to Intermediaries and TaxPayers.
We are not convinced that the ATO needs to be so aggressively developing and then promoting its own online solutions to taxpayers to interact with the ATO.
We do believe that the ATO must rapidly and possibly radically improve its technical capacity. The unreliability of the ATO portals, the ELS and PLS gateways are simply unacceptable.
In terms of an ability to service the tax intermediary and taxpayers adequately the ATO must adopt more contemporary services through 100% uptime multiple gateways for DSPs to submit lodgments, thereby removing the disturbance and damage caused by a lack of ability for tax intermediaries to provide their services.
In terms of the technology provided to it (by DSPs), the TP must be provided with the ability to be assured that any solution being provided to the TP that provides an ATO interaction service has been authenticated and authorised by the ATO to provide that service, and accordingly the TP can rely on that solution.
The impact of this current application of technology on the TP is that the TP must still play a very important role in the setup of each technology-provided service to apply tax law in the context of that taxpayer's circumstance. The future (if not the current) TP is the interpreter of not only tax law but the application of technology.
We believe that the future TP must be trained and qualified in the application of technology solutions to taxpayers' circumstances. This is a significantly enhanced requirement to the current training and accepted qualification regime of TPs.
We believe the future TP must be connected to a wider network of advisors who work together to provide a knowledge and competence in the application of technology to taxpayers. It is currently not possibly for a TP to be across every piece of technology (core software and addons) that may be applicable to a taxpayer's circumstances, and may affect that taxpayer's application of the tax laws to their circumstances. Therefore, the future TP must be directly connected to the software providers they utilise, and connected by networks of peers to access expertise that they personally may not possess.
The future TP must not limit their operations to circumstances that rely on the ATO digital solutions being constantly available. Despite the best efforts of technology providers, there is constant evidence of business interruption due to any one of the many parties involved between a TP operation and access to the ATO service (noting that this is not unique to the ATO delivery of digital solutions and is a fact of operating in the digital-connected age).
Updated: 30th August, 2017